The Kookaburras can secure their spot in the 2018 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup knockout stage and put a big dent in old foe England’s hopes with victory in their upcoming encounter on Tuesday night in Bhubaneswar, India.
World number one Australia meet seventh-ranked England at 10:30pm AEDT on Tuesday night live on FOX SPORTS 503 having won all three meetings between the two nations this year.
England conceded late to have a 2-2 draw with 17th-ranked China in their World Cup opener on Friday night, while Australia edged Ireland 2-1 leaving the Kookaburras in a strong position.
Reflecting on Friday’s win, Kookaburras forward Trent Mitton said: “It’s always going to be a tough game, the opener at a World Cup.
“We’re pleased with the win and we’re up for the fight.”
The top team in each pool automatically qualifies for the quarter-finals, while second and third will progress to the crossovers for a spot in the final eight, with fourth eliminated.
An Australia win would seal the Kookaburras’ knockout spot and put them in a strong position to claim an automatic quarter-final berth ahead of their final pool match against China on Friday night.
Defeat would leave England on one point after two games ahead of their final pool match with 10th-ranked Ireland.
Australia and England last met in the 2018 Commonwealth Games semi-finals on the Gold Coast in April, with the Kookaburras winning 2-1 in a tense clash.
Australia also beat England 2-1 in the final of the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia in March and 4-1 in the pool phase of that tournament.
The two sides met at the same venue, Bhubaneswar, 12 months ago at last year’s World League Final with the match ending 2-2.
Australia and England have met nine times at World Cups, with the Kookaburras winning seven of their encounters, including in the 1986 final in London, and the English triumphing twice.
The Kookaburras won their last meeting at the 2014 World Cup 5-0 before going on to the lift the trophy to clinch back-to-back titles. England did beat Australia 3-2 in 2010.
Images: World Sport Pics